Happy World Environment Day
PLEASE SIGN THE NEW SAVE TARA UNESCO PETITION ONLINE (Text below)
TaraWatch is celebrating UN World Environment Day 2008, with an online
version the new Tara UNESCO / ICOMOS petition, being launched on the
Internet today. The petition calls on the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and International
Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to declare the Hill of Tara
cultural landscape a World Heritage Site, but to insist that the M3
motorway is rerouted first.
Social network applications like myspace and facebook causes will be
heavily used to promote it. The new myspace SAVE TARA Cause Ranked 1st
among new Environment causes in new members yesterday.
http://www.causes.com/myspace/causes/71 ... id=6916545
This follows on from the successful launch of the SAVE TARA facebook
cause, which already has over 2,800 members.
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/827?rec ... id=6916545
World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the
principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates
worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention
and action. It is only fitting that we in turn launch our campaign
today, calling on them to act to save Tara.
TARA / M3 MOTORWAY - UNESCO / ICOMOS PETITION ONLINE
THIS PETITION is addressed to: The United Nations educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which includes:
• The Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura
• The Executive Committee of the General Conference
• The Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage, called the World eritage Committee
(hereinafter referred to as the "Committee")
• All parties in attendance at the 32nd Session of the World Heritage
Committee, Quebec, Canada, 2-10 July 2008.
• The Irish UNESCO Representatives
AND The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which
• ICOMOS International
• ICOMOS Ireland
• All other national ICOMOS bodies, such as ICOMOS Canada, UK, US,
Australia, Norway, and Aotearoa/New Zealand
• All parties in attendance at the ICOMOS Ireland AGM, Dublin, 4 June
• All parties in attendance at the Sixth World Archaeological Congress,
University College Dublin, 29th June to 4th July 2008
WHOSE JURISDICTIONS have been jointly invoked in this matter of great
national and international importance by the Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local overnment, of the Republic of Ireland,
John Gormley, on 11 May, 2008, in his address at the launch of the
legal incorporation and charitable status designation of ICOMOS
Ireland. He announced that he had retained an ICOMOS member, Dr Jukka
Jokilehto to visit the sites currently on Ireland's tentative list, as
well as the Hill of Tara. Minister Gormley concluded:
"The Hill of Tara National Monument has strong merit for inclusion in
an application to UNESCO for consideration as a World Heritage site",
and that he did "... not see the proposed new road (the M3 motorway)
as being an obstacle to making this recommendation."
I EARNESTLY AND RESPECTFULLY PLEAD THAT:
I. The Hill of Tara archaeological complex / cultural and natural
landscape, in it's entirety, (hereinafer referred to as "Tara") be
inscribed onto the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites.
BUT ONLY on condition that:
II. The proposed M3 motorway, (hereinafter referred to as "the M3")
currently under construction, is re-routed beyond Tara, before the site
is given World Heritage Site status, because he M3 is destroying the
integrity of the site and landscape.
I MAKE THIS PETITION FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
- UNESCO adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage ("The Convention") in 1972. Ireland
ratified the Convention in 1991. The Convention has as its goal the
identification and protection of cultural and national heritage of
"outstanding universal value".
- The Hill of Tara complex qualifies as a natural and cultural
landscape of outstanding universal value, due to it's unique cultural
significance, and the extent of the surviving remains. Tara covers a
much larger area than that the 100 acres of State-owned land on the
summit of the Hill, which currently delimits the 'national monument'.
The M3 passes through the middle of the area to be protected.
- The entire Tara archaeological complex and cultural/natural landscape
should be declared a World Heritage site. Expert bodies, such as the
Heritage Council, have recognised Tara consists of the entire Hill of
Tara along with the Tara / Skryne valley, as well as the defensive
forts that encircle the hill, including national monuments such as the
defensive forts of Rath Lugh (to the east), Rath Miles (to the north)
and Ringlestown Rath (to the west).
- Ireland has been in breach of the Convention since 1991, by failing
to nominate the Hill of Tara to be a World Heritage site, until after
the M3 motorway was approved. Article 3 of the Convention states: "It
is for each State Party to this Convention to identify and delineate
the different properties situated on its territory". A recent UN report
on Ireland's implementation of the Convention found that "Inventories,
established at national and local levels, have not been used as a basis
for selecting World Heritage sites". This has resulted in the
contradictory approach being taken by the Irish Government, which is on
one hand facilitating destruction of significant parts of the Tara
complex, and on the other, seeking International legal protection for
those same parts.
- The Minister for the Environment, has breached his responsibilities
under the Convention by initiating the inscription process of making
Tara a World Heritage site, while at the same time, failing in his
legal duty adequately protect the Tara complex from the immient threat
of the M3 motorway. John Gormley, said in a department press release,
11 April 2008, that he did not see M3 motorway preventing the Hill of
Tara from being nominated as a world heritage site. He said his
department had engaged Dr Jukka Jokilehto, a member of ICOMOS to visit
Tara and issue a report on it. It is these statements and actions that
have as well as other failures to act, that have invoked the
jurisdiction of international law.
- ICOMOS is an international non-governmental organization of
professionals, dedicated to the conservation of the world's historic
monuments and sites, and is an offical Advistory Body to UNESCO, for
purposes of implementing the World Heritage Convention. Both UNESCO and
ICOMOS would also be in breach of the Convention by accepting the
Minister's nomination of the Tara archaeological complex and
cultural/natural landscape, without insisting that the M3 motorway is
rerouted, while it still can be.
- National survey's have shown that 70% of Irish people want the M3
rerouted and an Irish Times online survey showed that 82% of people
want Tara declared a UNESCO site.
- The World Monuments Fund have placed the Hill of Tara on the 2008
List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
[Published by TaraWatch.org, 4 June 2008]
For more information see:
Statement by Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
overnment, of the Republic of Ireland, John Gormley, on 11 May, 2008,
http://www.environ.ie/en/Heritage/Archa ... /News/Main
Save the Hill of Tara from the M3 Motorway!